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I was grateful for the mention of The Twilight Zone on last week's episode, because this latest show brought us into one. If Don Draper's continued odyssey through California wasn't enough, there was also -- surprise! -- another woman answering to the name of "Mrs. Draper" and tucked safe in a California bide-a-way. The costume department couldn't have played it any better. Both Mrs. Drapers are blonde, blue-eyed, and slim, but that's pretty much where it ends. Anna Draper wears her hair loose; Anna Draper wears her clothes loose. The chambray shirts, the aprons, and the faded prints point to a woman who hangs her wardrobe on a clothesline to dry. (The Mrs. Draper across the country prefers the electric dryer.)
Speaking of the the familiar made unfamiliar, how weird was it to see Don Draper #2 in clothes formerly worn by the first Mrs. Draper's ex? They fit, but he looked like he didn't belong in them; it was the plaid in those warm color tones that really threw it off. Don Draper does not wear plaid flannel floppy shirts. Don Draper does not wear orange. At least, not Don Draper version 2.0.
And isn't it interesting that we see who Don really is when he's wearing someone else's outfits? It's almost as if this "new" wardrobe is mirroring the Xerox machine introduced at the season's beginning: A likeness that shows you exactly what's missing.
Meanwhile, back in the New York suburbs, Betty presents Sally with her own set of riding boots. Those who have read this column from the beginning know it's a great triumph for me to see this happen. I thought Sally looked more chic in those boots than anyone else all year. But now I'm a little worried. Sally in tall black boots. Sally smoking a cigarette in the bathroom. She's slowly turning from Sally Draper into Sally Mann, if you see what I mean. Pretty soon she'll be wearing pedal pushers and pouting with Lolita eyes in the backseat of a car! OK, not really. But Sally's new accessories -- the riding boot and the cigarettes -- do fit with the upside-down theme of this episode. In gaining those, Sally turns (at least sartorially) from kid to grown up. And by wearing her nightgown around everywhere, Betty flips the opposite way, from adult to child.
In fact, maybe the only person going straight down their timeline is Peggy Olson, whose new grown-up haircut and modified suits and dresses have sprung her into Freddy Rumsen's old office. I particularly admired the charcoal gray skirt and jacket that Peggy sported towards the end of the episode, especially because she stood right next to Joan, where the contrast between the two women was so evident: Peggy was tiny; Joan was gigantic. Peggy was pencils; Joan was Crayolas. Peggy was safe; Joan was in major trouble -- though that had less to do with her wardrobe and more to do with her choice of fiancé. It's unfortunate that the good doctor is such a degenerate, because I think Joan's outfit was her best yet. That vile man does not deserve a woman who can pair two shades of plum together and make it work.
Anyway. It's almost Halloween and nobody's admitted yet if they're going as a Mad Men character. I know there are some of you out there, so 'fess up.